Russian troops given new orders in Ukraine
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has inspected troops taking part in Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine. He ordered them to take measures to stop the Ukrainian military’s strikes on civilians, the ministry revealed on Wednesday.
Shoigu visited a command post of the ‘West’ grouping where he got a progress report on the military campaign from Lieutenant General Andrey Sychevoy.
“After hearing the report..., Sergei Shoigu gave instructions for a further increase of operational responsiveness related to destroying enemy unmanned aerial vehicles over areas at the Russian border, as well as to step up the prevention of attacks launched by nationalists on residential areas of the liberated settlements due to the delivery of new counter-battery warfare means,” the statement read.
Earlier this month, the ministry revealed that Shoigu had also met the commanding officers of the ‘South’ and ‘Center’ groupings and had given instructions to ramp up actions aimed at staving off rocket and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure by the Ukrainian military.
The defense minister’s visit comes amid numerous Ukrainian strikes that have targeted residential areas. In an attack earlier this month, Kiev forces shelled the Russian-controlled city of Novaya Kakhovka in Kherson Region using US-made HIMARS launchers. Local officials said that the attack hit a cluster of warehouses containing chemicals. In addition to those killed and injured, the explosion damaged a hospital and church and left over 270 people homeless, they claimed.
The Ukrainian military said it had destroyed an ammunition depot in the city.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.